Perarivalan’s release has given us hope, says Nalini’s mother

Nalini’s mother Padmavathi, is now confident that her daughter will also be freed. She commended Perarivalan’s mother Arputham Ammal’s untiring fight to secure the release of her son.
Nalini stepping out of jail on parole
Nalini stepping out of jail on parole
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After 31 years, the Supreme Court on May 18 ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The judgment has given hope to the family members of the rest of the convicts in the case.  “Arivu (Perarivalan) and I share our birthday. When we were both in jail, he would come and meet me to seek my blessings. It was a happy moment for me to feed him cake and bless him,” says Padmavathi, who is seeking the release of her daughter Nalini and son-in-law Murugan alias Sriharan. Speaking to TNM, Padmavathi, the 82-year-old mother of Nalini Sriharan, expressed her wish to see her daughter being released from the prison. Padma is living in Vellore with her daughter Nalini, who is presently out on parole.

A Supreme court bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, and AS Bopanna on May 18, suspended the life sentence given to Perarivalan, while passing the order on his mercy petition. “After this verdict, we are hopeful that my daughter will also get released soon. I have no words to describe this moment. I want to thank Chief Minister MK Stalin and all the other leaders who stood by us. The four advocates who sat on a hunger strike seeking our release and Sengodi (a 20-year-old woman from Kancheepuram who immolated herself protesting the death sentence awarded to Perarivalan and others), who sacrificed her life. We cannot forget them.” she added. 

 “I am 100 percent confident that my daughter Nalini and others will be out of jail. This judgment has given us hope. Arputham Ammal’s (Perarivalan’s mother) contribution to secure the release of our children is praise-worthy. You can’t find a person like her. She is a rare human being and her efforts are commendable” said this octogenarian over the phone. Padmavathi also thanked Chief Minister MK Stalin for giving a public statement that the government would make all efforts to ensure the release of six other convicts in this case.

Speaking to the press, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin called this verdict ‘a historic judgment’ and praised the continuous effort of Arputham Ammal. When asked about the release of the other convicts, he said "The judgment copy is yet to arrive. We will discuss further with legal experts after we receive the full details of the judgment. Later, the Tamil Nadu government will make a decision on seeking the release of others."  

Nalini along with three others Murugan, Perarivalan and Santhan, were awarded the death sentence for their involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. While Nalini’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the TN govt in 2000, the other three had their death sentences commuted to the life sentence by the Supreme court in 2014.  After coming to power in May 2021, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin requested President Ram Nath Kovind for their immediate release.  

On May 21,1991 former Prime Minister of India and Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber while he was campaigning at Sriperumbudur. A total of 16 people including the suicide bomber died, while 43 others were injured in the incident. Seven people – Murugan alias Sriharan, his wife Nalini, AG Perarivalan, Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and P Ravichandran were convicted in the case. 

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